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The Fields of Landscape Photography

William A. Ewing


An international survey of the vibrant field that is contemporary landscape photography


Landscape is unquestionably the richest genre in photography, and has been since its beginnings. It now finds itself at the cutting edge of contemporary image making, driven partly by an enduring fascination with the land, and partly by the urgent need to take stock of the extraordinary forces impacting on our environment. Fact and fiction mix in this first truly international survey of a vibrant, burgeoning field, its masterful twenty-first-century practitioners, and their work.

William A. Ewing, the eminent photography author and curator, has selected 240 photographs by over 100 photographers, ranging from renowned figures such as Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Susan Derges and Edward Burtynsky, to younger rising stars, including Olaf Otto Becker, Pieter Hugo and Penelope Umbrico. Each represents an individual or original viewpoint of a shared concern for our rapidly changing environment.

Organized into ten themes — Sublime; Pastoral; Artefacts; Rupture; Playground; Scar; Control; Enigma; Hallucination; Reverie — Landmark covers the full range of the genre, and sometimes even goes outside it: from bucolic images picturing the last vestiges of 'nature', through disturbing depictions of a sullied Earth, scarred and abused, to surreal and artificial landscapes where nature is channelled, controlled and regulated.

William A. Ewing contributes introductory texts to each of the sections, as well as the preface and introduction, and the book also features concise statements by the photographers themselves. The result is a thought-provoking meditation on the meaning of landscape in today's world.

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'A definitive study of contemporary landscape photography in all its conceptual variety'
Financial Times

'An exhaustive and enlightening survey of the genre'
British Journal of Photography

'An expansive survey of all things sublime and pastoral'
Daily Telegraph

'This beauty of a book celebrates the wonderment of rural and urban landscapes around the globe'
Time Out

'An antidote to the cacophony of selfie portraits indulgence on most Instagram feeds'
Independent on Sunday

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Product Information

Book Details

Format: Hardback

Size: 25.5 x 30.5 cm

Extent: 256 pp

Illustrations: 240

Publication date: 6 October 2014

ISBN: 9780500544334

Contents List

Preface • Introduction • Sublime • Pastoral • Artefacts • Rupture • Playground • Scar • Control • Enigma • Hallucination • Reverie • Photographers’ Statements

About the Author

William A. Ewing has been an author, lecturer, curator of photography and museum director for more than forty years. His many publications on photography include The Body, Landmark and Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements, all published by Thames & Hudson.